Medically Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on February 11, 2021
She's pretty, popular, and harsh, spreading rumors, calling names, and being mean.
What to do: Talk to a principal, teacher, or parent. Avoid her and and try not to engage. Hang out with real friends, and never take a putdown seriously.
Every girl gets breasts, just not at the same time or in the same size. Developing early can bring attention that you might not want.
What to do: You need support from a bra that fits. If anyone makes you feel uncomfortable, tell a responsible adult (like a parent, counselor, or trusted teacher).
Someone's posted the name of the guy you like on Instagram. Half of your school has probably seen it.
What to do: Limit access to your Instagram or other social media account to good friends only. Change your privacy settings so only they can see or post on your page. If kids from school are bothering you online, block them and tell your parents and principal.
Too Shy to Talk
You know the answer, but you're shy about talking in front of other people.
What to do: A lot of people are afraid to talk in public. But you can overcome that fear. Trust that you have good things to say, and push yourself to speak up. It should get easier the more you practice. Make sure you communicate with your teachers if you don't like talking in class.
I Hate My Nose!
It's big or it's bumpy, and you feel like people are always staring at the center of your face. You want to get plastic surgery to fix it.
What to do: Our faces change over time with puberty. And while surgery can change your nose, it has risks. Even after surgery your nose can change shape over time. Try makeup. Darker foundation on each side may help it look smaller. Also, ask yourself if you're being too critical. Sometimes, we miss seeing the beauty we already have.
Cheerleaders, jocks, Goths, artsy kids. Everyone at your school is in some kind of clique except you. You're stuck on the outside.
What to do: Who needs cliques? Find friends who are into the same things as you. Real friends won't shut you out because you're not popular enough or you don't wear the right clothes. They'll want to hang out with you just for who you are. The truth is that in your teens, you'll pass through several social groups, and if you feel unaccepted in one, you'll find acceptance in another.
Cyber Romance Realities
You've been chatting with someone online who seems nice and wants to meet you in person. Should you go?
What to do: No, because you really don't know who they are. Unfortunately, some people are very good liars online. Never give out personal information (like your address, phone number, or real name), send a photo of yourself, or agree to meet anyone face to face. If anyone acts creepy with you or won't take No for an answer, stop talking to them and tell your parents.
Not That Into Them
How do you break up without breaking their heart?
What to do: Be honest, but be kind. Break up in person, not by text. Don't gossip about it later, either. Show the same respect you would want.
You're walking to class when your friend whispers there's a bright red streak down the back of your pants. You've gotten your period in the middle of school.
What to do: Untuck your shirt or tie a jacket around your waist to hide the stain and head for the nurse's office or to a trusted teacher. From now on, stock your locker with an extra pair of pants, panties, and some pads or tampons in case it happens again.
Your best friend tells you that your breath stinks!
What to do: If your mouth often smells bad, you might not be brushing and flossing well enough. Or it could be what you ate at lunch. Brush twice a day, including your tongue. Try mints or sugarless gum. Test by licking the back of your hand and taking a whiff after it dries. If nothing helps, see your doctor or dentist.
Your Parents Treat You Like a Baby
You're in high school, yet your parents still act like you're 3 years old. They always remind you to "zip your jacket!" and "drink your milk!" right in front of your friends.
What to do: Show them how responsible you are by helping out around the house, keeping up with your grades, and maybe even getting a part-time job. You might also tell them it is embarrassing to be treated like a child in front of your friends.
Your friends are going out, but all you want to do is curl up in bed and sleep. You're always in a bad mood and you can't blame it on your period. Nothing makes you happy anymore.
What to do: If you've been sad for two weeks or more, you could be depressed. Tell your parents. They can take you to a therapist, who can help sort out what's going on. Talking about your feelings could help you feel a lot better.
Every day at lunch your friend pigs out. Then they run to the bathroom to throw up. You tell them you're worried, but they ignore you.
What to do: It could be an eating disorder. If they keep throwing up, they could really hurt their body. Since they won't listen to you, talk to another adult -- a parent, teacher, or school counselor -- who can get them the help they need. Explain to your friend that you are worried and you would like to involve an adult. You will feel pressured to keep the trust of your friend, but this intervention may be life saving.
You think your muffin top is the first thing everyone notices.
What to do: Reality check: Are you really overweight, or are you comparing yourself to models, actresses, or other images in the media? If you truly are out of shape, don't feel bad -- work toward a better diet and more active life. Talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Drinking Too Much
You or someone you care about gets drunk a lot. It worries you.
What to do: Talk to a guidance counselor or call Alateen. Never drink and drive, and never get into a car with someone who's buzzed. Express your concern to your friend and get the help of a trusted adult.
You're Caught Bullying
You've been giving a girl at school a hard time. Now she's told the principal.
What to do: You don't have to hit someone to be a bully. Teasing and starting nasty rumors are also bullying. Think about how you'd feel if somebody treated you the same way. Talk to a counselor and get help so you don't bully anyone again, even if you didn't mean it to go this far.
The big dance is just days away and no one's asked you yet. All your friends have dates.
What to do: Ask someone yourself. Pick someone you've had a crush on for a while, or ask a good friend. Who says you even need a date? Go solo or with a group of friends and you'll still have a great time.
Your friends have the coolest clothes. Your wardrobe is more awkward than awesome.
What to do: Shop sales, secondhand stores, or design your own clothes. Stop comparing yourself to them and go for what feels good on you, and on your budget.
You sent a flirty text message to your boyfriend, and he showed it to all his friends. Now the whole school is talking about you.
What to do: Don't send anything you wouldn't want shared. When you hit "send," you lose control. If you get bullied over something you sent, tell your parents or principal.
Your parents expect you to do it all: get straight A's, make the varsity team, play an instrument, have a part-time job. You're drowning in their expectations.
What to do: If you often feel stressed or anxious, you're taking on too much. Tell your parents you need a break. Make sure you have enough time to sleep, eat, and hang out with your friends. If the pressure gets to be too much, reach out to a counselor.
You think your brother or sister is your parents' favorite.
What to do: Your parents might have no idea they're treating you any differently. Tell them how you feel. If they still don't get it, ask for advice from another adult, like a relative or school counselor.
Whenever you go shopping with your best friend, they steal something.
What to do: Tell your friend you think it's wrong to steal. If they won't stop, find another shopping buddy. If they keep shoplifting when you're with them, you could get in trouble, too.
Parents Won't Let You Drive
You finally got your license, but your parents have too many rules that put the brakes on your driving.
What to do: For now, you need to live with their rules if you want to drive. They're probably just trying to keep you safe. Over time, you'll win their confidence and earn their trust as they see you being a safe, responsible driver.
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